Valley LGBTQ business hit by Target controversy

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) – Target once excelled at boldly supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

That status is now tarnished after the company discontinued some LGBTQ+-focused products and moved Pride Month displays to the back of stores in certain locations in the South in response to online complaints and in-store confrontations that allegedly jeopardize the well-being of employees.

Target has begun removing Pride Month merchandise in-store and online.

In the Rio Grande Valley, a Latin American family business commented on the nationwide controversy.

JZD, owned by husband and wife team Jennifer Serrano and Veronica Vasquez, aims to celebrate unity and culture with its brand.

“We have never shied away from our identity as we exist to celebrate all sides of who we are and the communities we belong to,” JZD said in a statement. “We deserve equality, respect, safety, allies and love.”

Target has discontinued two items from JZD to be available online only and has removed the style from its stores and websites entirely.

“Hate will never win,” said JZD.

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Target is facing a second backlash from customers who are angry at the discount store’s response to aggressive anti-LGBTQ+ activism that has also made its way into Republican state legislatures. Civil rights groups on Wednesday accused the company of backtracking on anti-LGBTQ+ customers who flipped displays and expressed outrage at gender-specific swimsuits.

“Target should be putting the products back on the shelves and making sure their Pride displays are visible on the floor and not shoved into the proverbial closet,” Kelley Robinson, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement. “That’s what the tyrants want.”

The furor over Target’s Pride Month marketing — and its response to critics — is just the latest example of how companies are struggling to serve diverse customer groups at a time of extreme cultural differences, particularly around transgender rights.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.


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